April 24, 2012
OPENING REMARKS BY THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AND CHAIR OF THE GROUP 77 AND CHINA AT THE MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNCTAD XIII CONFERENCE
Excellencies, Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Member States of the Group of 77 and China,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to you all.
I wish to first of all welcome you to this Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 and China, which is being held on the margins of the 13th Conference of UNCTAD.
I also wish to take this opportunity to thank our distinguished guests, H.E. Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage of the State of Qatar, and Chairman of the National Preparatory Committee for UNCTAD XIII; Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD and Dr. Martin Khor, Executive Director of South Centre for being with us this morning.
May I also commend the Secretariat for the work they have done to prepare for our meeting this morning.
Our meeting today is indeed timely.
Not only because we meet ahead of the Ministerial Segment of the UNCTAD Conference – thus providing us the opportunity to reaffirm the Group’s cohesion and unity within UNCTAD, as we advance the global development agenda.
But also because we meet amidst a global economic slowdown.
Thus we have an opportunity to share views on how to advance our common interest in development.
To identify ways and means to ensure the achievement of a development-centered globalization.
And to reaffirm our commitment to global partnership for development.
While it is true that the global economic and financial situation is full of uncertainty, it also offers new opportunities.
Not least, opportunities for the developing world to assume a larger role in global economic governance.
For instance, new growth poles in the South have emerged, which heralds a significant shift in the global economic and political landscape.
The developing world is now home to some of the world’s largest economies.
Many countries in the developing world have also shown remarkable economic resilience, even in the midst of the global financial crisis.
Indeed, resilient economic conditions in the Southern hemisphere have contributed greatly to global economic growth.
More and more economies – developing economies – are thus becoming net contributors to global prosperity.
But we should not be complacent.
We need to make this momentum sustainable. And irreversible. And contribute to prosperity, both within our own Group and in the world at large.
For instance, we must see to it that all developing economies enjoy resilience.
Although some developing countries have recorded remarkable growth in these turbulent times, growth in the developing world has been uneven.
We see large gaps between regions and between individual countries.
Many of the least developed countries (LDCs) have seen the development gap between them and other countries widen further during the past two decades.
And all developing economies remain vulnerable to global economic shocks and stresses.
It is therefore essential that we enhance our solidarity in advancing the cause of development and equitably shared prosperity.
Not only for our group, but also for the world at large.
Allow me to share a few thoughts on how the Group of 77 and China can increase its momentum and make more rapid progress.
First, the Group needs to consolidate the common grounds on which it operates.
Differences of perspectives do exist amongst us. This is only natural for a grouping as large as the G-77 and China.
Nevertheless, we must always accentuate our common interests and not our differences.
We should also ensure that all our activities in various multilateral forums are coherent with one another. We must achieve the same coherence in our relations with development partners and among ourselves.
For the sake of our peoples we must work hard to help create a strong and resilient global economy.
This has become even more crucial as we approach the deadline for the achievement of our MDGs in 2015.
Second, the current global economic and financial crisis proves that there are systemic flaws in the international economic and financial system. And that it needs to become more inclusive and democratic.
As the developing world has become the engine of sustainable global economic growth, we must build a strong and inclusive international system that is conducive to the global development agenda.
We must push for reform of the international financial architecture, so that the developing world is given a greater voice in the decision-making processes of multilateral financial institutions.
Indeed, the Group of 77 and China must play an active role in the development of a more coherent and development-friendly international economic architecture.
It can also work for the successful conclusion of the Doha Round of negotiations so that we will have a multilateral trading regime that is development-oriented and fair to developing countries.
Third, we must resort to innovative solution to solve the broad spectrum of challenges in the 21st century.
We must take new approaches to persistent problems. Approaches that foster genuine partnership both amongst ourselves and with our developed partners.
That’s because the challenges of this century defy national solutions. They must be tackled through a broad partnership of developed and developing nations. And in the process we all become net contributors to global prosperity.
We in the Group of 77 and China are called upon to serve as a driving force for the global development agenda. For fair and inclusive global economic governance.
Let us therefore reaffirm our commitment to act as a united Group that is a force for progress. So that the outcome of this Conference will resonate as a message of hope for all humankind.
I thank you.